House of Frankenstein (1944)

house of frankenstein poster 1944 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Still love a monster movie

Not very good, with poor story

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  House of Frankenstein

Studio:  Universal Studios

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  December 1, 1944

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

house-of-frankenstein-mad-scientist-hunchback-boris-karloff-j-carrol-naish

Next time I give you the “kill him” signal try to do it less creepy and more casual

Dr. Gustav Niemann (Boris Karloff) has a desire to follow in Frankenstein’s footsteps and has been institutionalized as a mad scientist as a result.  Breaking free with a hunchback named Daniel (J. Carrol Naish), Dr. Niemann hides under the cover a circus transporting the body of Dracula (John Carradine).  Freeing Dracula as a distraction, Dr. Niemann and the hunchback speed to Frankenstein’s lab in the hopes of finding the key to Frankenstein’s experiments…but find the Monster (Glenn Strange) and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr.) instead.

Directed by Erle C. Kenton, House of Frankenstein is a mash-up Universal monster movie at the end of the Universal monster boom.  The film follows Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man from 1943.

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Why am I in this movie?

House of Frankenstein is a kid’s dream “Monster-Mash” type film.  Not only do you get Frankenstein (who doesn’t show up until near the end of the movie), but you get Dracula and the Wolf Man (plus as the poster indicates “The Hunchback” and “the Mad Scientist”)…unfortunately, it isn’t very good.

The story of House of Frankenstein is virtually non-existent.  The only continuing theme is that Boris Karloff wants to do Frankenstein’s experiments and the Hunchback wants a new body.  The first half of the film deals with Dracula and a husband and wife, and then the film completely changes cast and settings for the second half which has the Wolf Man, the Frankenstein Monster, and a gypsy woman named Ilonka (Elena Verdugo).  The film makes no effort to bring the two halves together and it feels like a sheer marketing ploy to make money.

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Let’s go wolfing now!

The acting is on par with the other Universal horror films.  Unfortunately, due to an obligation, Bela Lugosi wasn’t able to play Dracula (though I do like Carradine in the role).  I also find it rather ironic that Boris Karloff wants to follow in Frankenstein’s footsteps since he was the iconic Monster.  J. Carrol Naish is rather sympathetic as the hunchback though I’m rather surprised Elena Verdugo’s character wasn’t named Esmeralda to further tie into The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I still love the Wolf Man, the Frankenstein Monster, and Dracula so I have a hard time faulting the looks although the movies are always filled with continuity errors.  The movie was originally going to include even more monsters, but fortunately, the mummy and other rumored participants were left out of the already loaded script.

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Dude…you look different…again

House of Frankenstein isn’t good, but honestly, many of the later monster movies weren’t very good and are only “fun” shades of past movies.  The multiple character movie idea continued on after this and still continues today (I mean The Expendables is essentially the House of Frankenstein of action films).  House of Frankenstein was followed by House of Dracula in 1945.

Related Links:

Frankenstein (1931)

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

 

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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